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186                                       FLORA  INDICA.
There are probably many mountains equally elevated with
those just enumerated, but bearing a less important relation
to the river systems. A very lofty peak between the Kosi
and its tributary the Aran has been conjectured to be al-
most as lofty as Kanchinjanga, but on very imperfect data.
The uniform appearance' of snowy masses throughout the
whole extent of Nipal, leaves no doubt, however, as to the
great elevation of the axis of the chain and the mountains of
the interior.
"With regard to the outer mountains we have no detailed
information, except of those in the immediate neighbourhood
of Kathrnandu, where Shcopore, on the watershed between
the Gandak and the Kosi, is upwards of 10,000 feet. On
the whole, if we may judge from the distribution of the
rivers, the outer mountains of Nipal are probably less'ele-
vated than those of other parts of the Himalaya, the width
of the river basins being comparatively great, so that ttye
boraidary ridges ramify repeatedly, and rim for a considerable
length without much increase of altitude. .In eastern Nipal
the outer and central ranges are very much lower than, those
of Sikkim', and the open valleys and low mountains of central
Nipal indicate that the same is the case there.
The climate of Nipal has been discussed with that of the
Himalaya generally. There is probably a somewhat abrupt
transition from the humid winter of Sikkim to the drought
which prevails at that season in the western Himalaya, as the
proximity, not only to the sea, but also to the great mass of
snow-clad mountains which in Sikkim advances to within sixty
miles of the plains, is no doubt the cause of the superabund-
ance of moisture in that province. We may therefore expect
to find all the eastern or humid types of the subtropical Sik-
kim flora wanting in the forest between Kathmaadu and the
Gangetic plain. Accordingly, among palms, Arcca gradlis
and disticha,) Llcuda and Caryota have disappeared, and one
or two Calami, (J/iamarops, JPAaitto acaulis, and Wallichia
alouc occur. With diminished humidity we find increased